Heirloom & Perennial Ltd

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Phalaris arundinacea, Canary Grass


This is one of the main species used in the reed bed system for the water purification treatment of grey water and for irrigation with pollution control sewage effluent from municipal and industrial sources.

One of the highest yielding fodder grasses with annual yields ranging from 8 - 20 tonnes per hectare, it has potential as a source of biomass.

Plants have a running root system and form an impenetrable ground cover. They should be mown 2 - 3 times in their first 2 - 3 years in order to encourage thick growth. Plants are best spaced about 60cm apart each way.

Plants can be very invasive, especially in moist conditions, there dense growth provides good cover for water fowl.

Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. This is one of the first grasses to come into growth in the spring.

Sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. 

A very easy plant to grow, it succeeds in ordinary garden soil, though it grows best on moist sandy soils, rich in organic matter. It also does well on fertile loams and clays. Succeeds in most soils, whether dry or wet and is moderately tolerant of drought. It does not like saline soils.


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